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a group of linguistically related (Natchez-Muskogean family) American Indian tribes, including the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Mobile, Natchez, Apalachee, and Timucua.
Before colonization, the Muskogeans lived in the southeastern part of North America, in what is now North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and part of Tennessee. They engaged in hoe farming, hunting, and gathering. Their society achieved the stage of a military democracy. In the 17th and 18th centuries they borrowed European methods of agriculture and livestock breeding. Muskogean territory was disputed by the English, French, and Spanish. The colonizers exterminated the small Muskogean tribes and at the same time sowed intertribal discord, instigating the larger and stronger tribes to struggle for their own interests. This weakened the Muskogeans and their resistance to the seizure of their lands by the Europeans. Between 1826 and 1837, the Muskogeans were forcibly resettled from the southeast to the west, to Oklahoma.
The present-day Muskogeans, whose population numbers approximately 50,000, are quite racially mixed. They belong to various Christian sects. They are engaged primarily in agriculture, although some Muskogeans work as small handicraftsmen, workers, and seasonal migrant laborers. There is a Muskogean intelligentsia.